A Study Of R&D/Marketing Interface And Innovation Success In High Technology Firms

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




David Wilemon


Integration, New Product, Research Management, Development, Marketing

Subject Categories

Sales and Merchandising


In an environment characterized by continuously changing market and technological forces, marketing and R&D play major roles in the innovation process within an organization. This exploratory study focuses on the issue of R&D/marketing integration and its relation to innovation success for high technology firms. The major objective is to examine the areas where R&D and marketing integration is required, factors affecting the degree of integration required and achieved, major barriers to R&D/marketing integration, the lessons learned from new product failures by the R&D and marketing managers, and the extent to which the discrepancy between the level of integration required and achieved is related to innovation success.

A conceptual model for the study of R&D/marketing integration in an organizational context has been developed. The model includes variables such as an organization's innovation strategy, its ability to forecast the environment, its structure, its reward system, senior management's support for R&D/marketing integration and encouragement of risk-taking behavior, the personality variables of R&D and marketing managers (e.g. time orientation, professional orientation, preference for risky projects, and the tolerance for ambiguity).

The data was collected through a mail survey of 109 marketing and 107 R&D managers from small- and medium-sized firms from selected high technology industries. The data was analyzed through regression/correlation technique.

The findings suggest that: (1) all organizations, regardless of their innovation strategy and ability to forecast the environment, require a great deal of R&D/marketing integration; (2) factors related to organizational design were more important in determining the degree of integration achieved than the personality differences between R&D and marketing managers; (3) marketing managers associated innovation success with the level of R&D/marketing integration achieved to a significantly greater extent than R&D managers; (4) lack of communication and insensitivity to each others points of view were among the major barriers to integration; and (5) the most important areas of integration include: marketing's role in providing information to R&D on customer requirements, product performance, and competitors' strategies.

Numerous implications for marketing managers, R&D managers, senior management, and organizational design are developed.


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